Here are the five street food stalls in Raohe Night Market recommended by our Michelin inspectors in the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Taipei.
Situated right at the brightly-lit gates of the entrance to Raohe Night Market, Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun sees long lines at all times of the evening. The line moves fast, and the food is worth the wait. Everyone is there for their fix of Raohe’s famed black pepper buns—golden, crisp buns baked on the sides of drum-like brick ovens fired by charcoal which imparts a smoky quality that complements the juicy black pepper sauce pork filling and spring onions.
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This small street stall is a must-try on a chilly winter night—if you can wait around a bit for a seat. The ribs are stewed with traditional Chinese medical herbs till the broth is rich and deeply savoury and the meat falls off the bone. Each helping is topped with a heap of ginger slivers and best accompanied with a bowl of braised pork rice.
“Oh-Ah Mee Sua”, or oyster vermicelli, is another popular Taiwanese street food snack. The second-generation owner of this 80-year-old Raohe stalwart makes tasty baby oyster vermicelli soup the same way as her father did when he started it back in 1937. Unlike the stickier style of soup more commonly found in Taiwan, this stall doesn’t add cornstarch to their pork bone broth, resulting in a clear, light soup that coats the silky vermicelli and fresh plump oysters.
This humble little pushcart has been a fixture at Raohe Night Market for more than a decade. Owner Ah Chung makes his morsels of sticky glutinous rice mochi fresh every day, selling about 150 portions daily. They only come in three very traditional flavours: crushed peanuts, powdered sugar and black sesame. They’re best eaten immediately, so the fillings don’t become soggy, but if you want to save it for later, Ah Chung will gladly pack the fillings separately.
The signature dishes at this 20-year-old establishment are the stinky tofu soup with duck blood curd and deep-fried stinky tofu with pickled cabbage. Customers come from far and wide to perch on makeshift chairs and tables in the crowded market to get a taste (and whiff) of Taiwan’s national delicacy—fermented tofu. At Shi Boss, the stinky tofu is served in a spicy soup made from a time-honored family recipe that uses traditional Chinese herbs. For a more unadulterated experience, the deep-fried stinky tofu has an umami not unlike blue cheese that is cut through with the tangy pickled cabbage served alongside.